Eli Tokash to Join Collegiate Chorale for US Premiere of THE ROAD TO PROMISE

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The Collegiate Chorale announces that Eli Tokash will join the cast of the US Premiere of Kurt Weill's The Road of Promise on May 6, 2015 at 8pm and May 7, 2015 at 7pm at Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, 881 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10019. Tickets are $30-$135 and are available at www.carnegiehall.org, CarnegieCharge 212-247-7800, or the Box Office at 57th and Seventh. For more information, visit http://collegiatechorale.org/performances/the-road-of-promise.

The Road of Promise is a new concert adaptation of Kurt Weill and Franz Werfel's epic 1937 stage spectacle, The Eternal Road, led by Tony Award-winning conductor/director Ted Sperling and featuring a cast of world-renowned singers, a 200-voice chorus, and symphony orchestra.

Like the original stage work, The Road of Promise combines a story about a synagogue under threat of persecution with defining stories from the Old Testament. As the congregation awaits their fate, a 13-year old boy appears who knows nothing of his Jewish heritage or faith. The Rabbi enlightens him and gives the community strength by recounting the stories of Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Miriam, Moses, Ruth, Isaiah, and more, all of which come alive through Weill's magnificent musical score. The young boy listens to the stories unfold and emerges as the new hope for his people.

The concert will feature Eli Tokash, Ron Rifkin, Anthony Dean Griffey, Mark Delavan, Philip Cutlip, AJ Glueckert, and Lotte Lenya Competition Finalists/Winners Lauren Michelle, Megan Marino, and Justin Hopkins, with Conductor/Director Ted Sperling and Orchestra of St. Luke's. Video Projections by Wendall Harrington and Lighting Design by Frances Aronson.

The May 7 performance will feature a special pre-concert talk at 6pm, presented in partnership with the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Artistic Director Ted Sperling talks with Ed Harsh, adapter of Kurt Weill and Franz Werfel's The Road of Promise, about the background, historical context, and glorious musical content of this piece.

Both performances of The Road of Promise will be recorded live at Carnegie Hall for release on the Parma/Navona Records label, distributed by Naxos Records.

The Road of Promise performances are funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc. The Road of Promise performances have also received endorsement from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, The Collegiate Chorale's 2015 Spring Benefit Honoree.

Eli Tokash recently appeared as Theo in the Broadway Revival of Pippin. He previously performed in the national tour and Madison Square Garden production of A Christmas Story as Ralphie Parker and the national tour of Mary Poppins as Michael Banks. On television, he can currently be seen recurring as Young Abe on ABC's "Forever." Other film and TV credits include "Blood Ties," "I Love You, But I Lied," and "Undaunted." Workshops and readings: "A Moment in Time" and "The Greatest Showman on Earth" with Hugh Jackman. Aside from his love of performing, Eli's other passions include football and hockey. Special thank you to CESD and Mara Entertainment. Love to Dad, Mom, Tessie and Zak.

Ron Rifkin was honored with the Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway revival of Cabaret. His other Broadway credits include Wrong Mountain, A Month in the Country, and Broken Glass. He originated the lead role in Substance of Fire, for which he won the Obie, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel and Drama-Logue Awards. For his performance in Three Hotels, he received a second Lucille Lortel Award and Drama Desk Award nomination. Mr. Rifkin has most recently been seen off-Broadway in The Twenty-Seventh Man and The Paris Letter. His film credits include "The Words," "Peep World," "The Sum of All Fears," "Dragonfly," "The Majestic," "Boiler Room," "Keeping the Faith," "The Negotiator," "L.A. Confidential," "Husbands and Wives" and "Manhattan Murder Mystery," "Last Summer in the Hamptons," "Wolf," "JFK," "The Sting II," "The Big Fix," "The Sunshine Boys," "Silent Running," and the film adaptation of "Substance of Fire." On television, Mr. Rifkin starred on the acclaimed ABC Television series "Alias" for five seasons. He subsequently spent five seasons as one of the stars of the hit ABC series "Brothers and Sisters." He is also known to television audiences for his continuing role on "Law & Order: SVU." Mr. Rifkin was nominated for an Emmy award for his narration of the American Masters documentary, "Jerome Robbins: Something to Dance About."

American tenor Anthony Dean Griffey has captured critical and popular acclaim on opera, concert and recital stages around the world. The combination of his beautiful and powerful lyric tenor voice, gift of dramatic interpretation and superb musicianship have earned him the highest praise from critics and audiences alike. This season, Mr. Griffey returns to the Houston Grand Opera for the world premiere of Iain Bell's A Christmas Carol, a one-man show based on the Dickens' classic and to Carnegie Hall for the U.S. premiere of Kurt Weill's The Road of Promise with The Collegiate Chorale. He also appears in concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, and at the University of North Carolina and the Desert Song Festival in Tucson. Mr. Griffey has appeared in the world's most prestigious opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Paris Opera, Teatro Comunale di Firenze, Teatro dell'Opera in Rome, and the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan. His many roles include the title roles in Peter Grimes, Idomeneo, Oedipus Rex, and Kurka's The Good Soldier Schweik; Florestan in Fidelio, Erik in Die fliegende Holländer, Male Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, and Jim Mahoney in The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.

A singer of "incisive vocal power and fierce theatrical acuity", baritone Mark Delavan is sought after throughout the United States and Europe for the most demanding roles in his repertoire. He regularly appears in the title roles of Der fliegende Holländer, Falstaff and Rigoletto, and as Iago in Otello, Scarpia in Tosca, Jochanaan in Salome, and Amonasro in Aida. In the summer of 2011, Mr. Delavan completed his first performances as Wotan/Wanderer in Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen for San Francisco Opera's new production by Francesca Zambello. The San Francisco Examiner said, "A great new Wotan has arrived. Mark Delavan is both majestic and heartbreakingly human. His acting, diction and warm, broad voice impress throughout...When he stumbles under the weight of his sorrow, when he spits out words of anger, Delavan joins the historic line of Wotans to remember." In the 2014/15 season, Mark Delavan returns to San Francisco Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Scarpia. He will also create the role of Giovanni in the world premiere of Marco Tutino's Two Women (La Ciociara) at San Francisco Opera. In concert, he will be heard in Kurt Weill's The Road of Promise with The Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall, with the New York Choral Society in Mendelssohn's St. Paul, and with the Boston Philharmonic in Act 3 of Wagner's Siegfried.

Baritone Philip Cutlip has garnered consistent critical acclaim for his performances across North America and Europe. Established on both concert and opera stages, he has performed with a distinguished list of conductors that includes Nicholas McGegan, Yves Abel, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Gerard Schwarz, and Donald Runnicles. His appearance as Joseph De Rocher in Heggie's Dead Man Walking, with Joyce DiDonato and Frederica von Stade for Houston Grand Opera, has been released on Virgin Records. Philip Cutlip's 2014-15 season engagements include the title role in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro in a return to Sarasota Opera, several roles in Weill's The Road of Promise with New York's Collegiate Chorale, soloist in Messiah with the Winston-Salem Symphony, and in Vaughn Williams' "A Sea Symphony" with the Modesto Symphony Orchestra. His 2013-14 engagements included Stanley in Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire with Opera Grand Rapids, and baritone soloist in Handel's Apollo e Dafne with Music of the Baroque Chorus and Orchestra. He returned to Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, under Nicholas McGegan, in Messiah; to North Carolina Symphony in Bach's Christmas Oratorio; and to Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra as Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro. He also debuted with the Eugene Symphony in Haydn's The Creation.

Lauren Michelle, soprano, originally from Los Angeles, received her Bachelor's Degree from The Juilliard School in New York. Her performances there included roles, scenes, and song recitals primarily in the Baroque, Classical, and Bel Canto repertoire, generating praise for her shimmering voice quality and her dramatic stage presence. Outside of the conservatory, she has performed for young audiences in a number of venues in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Italy, England, and South Africa. Lauren Michelle has won First Prize in both the Leontyne Price Competition and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Competition, and has been presented in concert at Zipper Concert Hall by the Los Angeles Opera Buffs. She spent a year and a half in Florence, Italy as an apprentice at the Teatro Communale di Firenze, becoming fluent in Italian and performing the role of Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi and the title role in Reynaldo Hahn's Mozart. She has sung recitals of Lieder and French/American art songs at festivals throughout France and the USA.

Mezzo-Soprano Megan Marino, hailed by the Washington Times for her "considerable range and confidence, navigating lower notes with impressive clarity yet also managing considerable leaps into the higher range as well, exhibiting a warm, plummy tone throughout," Megan Marino sings Miriam and Ruth in the American premiere of Weill's The Road of Promise with The Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall, which will later be released as a commercial recording, and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Saint Petersburg Opera in the 2014-15 season. She joins the rosters of the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Anna Bolena and San Francisco Opera for Partenope and also returns to the Metropolitan Opera for its production of Don Carlo. In the summer, she will return to Santa Fe Opera for the Page in Salome and Olivia in the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain as a member of the company's prestigious Resident Artist program. Her future engagements include a role debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as well as her first performances with Fort Worth Opera. Last season she made her Metropolitan Opera debut as a Voice of an Unborn Child in Die Frau ohne Schatten and joined the company for its productions of Rusalka, Werther, and Rigoletto. She sang Angelina in La Cenerentola with Green Mountain Opera and two role debuts: Varvara in Káta Kabanová at the Spoleto Festival U.S.A and the Third Schauspieler in Weill's Der Protagonist at the Fire Island Opera Festival. On the concert stage, she joined the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra of Handel's Messiah and sang Haydn's Mass No. 6 at Carnegie Hall.

Tenor AJ Glueckert has been praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for his "superb," "soaring" voice with "polished high notes." Mr. Glueckert is currently an Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera where he recently appeared as the Steersman in Der fliegende Holländer to great acclaim.In the 2014 - 2015 season, Mr. Glueckert makes his European debut at Oper Frankfurt as the Prince in Rusalka, a role he will first sing at New Orleans Opera. He will also be seen as Don José in Carmen at Pittsburgh Opera. In his final year as an Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera, he will take part in productions of Norma as Flavio, Susannah and Un ballo in maschera. AJ Glueckert made his San Francisco Opera debut in the world premiere production of Mark Adamo's The Gospel of Mary Magdalene in the summer of 2013 and recently created the role of the Crown Prince in the world premiere of Kevin Puts' Silent Night at Minnesota Opera and Opera Philadelphia. He also recently was featured singing Walther's Prize Song from Die Meistersinger on Nürnberg where he "evidenced his potential as a Wagnerian lyric tenor" (San Francisco Classical Voice) and an excerpt of Pylade from Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride at the War Memorial Opera House in the Adler Fellow's Gala Concert.

A standout among his peers on the operatic stage and a performer of increasingly high demand, bass-baritone Justin Hopkins continues to move audiences around the world with his performances. The 2014-2015 season includes his return to Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels for Strauss's Daphne, as well as his return to Carnegie Hall to perform the role of the Dark Angel in Kurt Weill's The Road of Promise with The Collegiate Chorale and Orchestra of St. Luke's. Mr. Hopkins will also make his debut with the Dayton Philharmonic in Britten's War Requiem under the baton of Maestro Keith Lockhart. The 2014-15 season also includes two world premieres: Repast an oratorio based on the life of Booker Wright in collaboration with composer Nolan Gasser, as well as The Long Walk with Opera Saratoga. Mr. Hopkins will also perform the role of Publio La Clemenza di Tito with Opera in the Heights, Elijah with The Choristers of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and will appear as featured soloist with the Metropolitan Chorale of Brookline.

Wendall K. Harrington received the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and American Theatre Wing awards for The Who's Tommy. Her Broadway credits include: All The Way, Grey Gardens, Putting It Together, The Capeman, Ragtime, Company, Driving Miss Daisy, The Will Rogers Follies, The Heidi Chronicles, My One and Only, and They're Playing Our Song. Her work in Opera and Ballet includes, Werther, The Grapes of Wrath, Nixon In China,A View from the Bridge; The Photographer; The Magic Flute, Firebird, Anna Karenina, Seranata Ratmansky, Othello, and Ballet Mecanique. She is the head of the projection design concentration at the Yale School of Drama.

Frances Aronson has lit concerts for The Collegiate Chorale since 2004, including Not the Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy), The Mikado, Song of Norway, Israel in Egypt, The Firebrand of Florence, The Grapes of Wrath, Alceste, An Evening of Kurt Weill, An Evening of American Operetta, Treemonisha, and A White House Cantata. New York credits include Falsettos, Here Lies Jenny, Bad Dates, Fully Committed, and The Old Settler. She is the recipient of a Boston Theatre Award for The Cherry Orchard, an AUDELCO Award for the New York production of The Old Settler, and an OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Lighting Design.

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